Global

Peace Kitchen: promoting Japanese food (and maybe something more) across the world

As RocketNews24 readers, you are probably a bit more savvy than most about what Japanese food is, but for many, the concept doesn’t extend far beyond sushi. Despite its recent elevation to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status and its potential for international popularity, washoku still lacks global recognition and understanding.

That’s about to change, however, if newly launched project Peace Kitchen has their way, and we might all be better off for it.

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(Not so) cool beans! Watch these horrified US kids try natto for the first time!

Despite being slimy and smelly and stringy, fermented soybeans, or natto, are actually really good for you. We’ve spoken before about how even lots of Japanese people have to resort to special measures in order to stomach swallowing down a bowl of these stinky beans. So it’s no surprise that these US kids have such a hard time when they were presented with a bowl of natto for the first time.

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Onsen in Nagano will now welcome foreigners with tattoos, as long as they patch ’em up

Many foreign visitors to Japan are curious about taking a dip in one of Japan’s many hot springs or sento public baths, but are deterred by two factors: the embarrassment of being naked in public, and the worry that even having a small tattoo – very much taboo in Japan – might result in being ejected from the premises. While the first issue is something that can be overcome with a little bravery, the second issue is undoubtedly a problem.

However, a resort inn in Nagano has now publicly stated that they will allow foreigners with small tattoos to enter, providing they cover up the offending ink with a patch.

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Consoles, franchises, mascots and memories! The top 10 years in video gaming history

What are some of the most important years in your own, personal gaming career? For me, the most important was probably 1992, when I got a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) for Christmas and played my first-ever videogame (it was Sonic 2). Oh, but 1996 was a great year, too, because Resident Evil came out and I got my first, unforgettable taste of digitized fear and found out that I have a deep love of zombies.

While we all probably have certain years that are notable for the particular gaming memories they hold, it’s undeniable that video games in general have made certain leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades, and some years in particular have had slightly more leaps and a few extra bounds compared to others. Just check out this video of the Top 10 Years in Gaming History to see what we mean…

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Meet the man behind the mask! We head to Chiba for an exclusive interview with Chibatman 【Video】

Chiba Prefecture‘s very own superhero, Chibatman, has been making headlines in Japan and abroad since he began his campaign to keep Chiba’s streets safe. Often spotted zooming around on his custom-built Chibatpod (aka Batcycle), he’s also been seen making speeches at official events, and he’s even received the Chiba Police Force’s official approval to continue his activities.

Today, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Chibatman himself! We visited him at his home in Chiba to get the lowdown on the man behind the mask!

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Kawaii kitchenware alert! Create cute kitty cookies with this awesome rolling-pin!

Recently we’ve been going crazy over kitty kitchen cookware, like the adorable kitty knife we featured a little while back. But our quest for kittycat-themed culinary goods is still ongoing, and this amazing kitty rolling-pin by Etsy seller Mood For Wood has got us seriously craving some freshly baked cookies, pronto!

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Fukushima bottled water wins Gold Quality Award in the internationally coveted Monde Selection

At a press conference on April 8, Fukushima City representatives announced that the bottled tap water produced in the city has won a Gold Quality Award in the 2015 Monde Selection, a prestigious international competition designed to test the quality of various consumer products. By winning this award, the city hopes to dispel negative rumors about lingering radioactive contamination following the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

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Japan’s abysmal ranking for rice consumption even catches Japanese Netizens off-guard

Think Japan loves it some rice? Well, you’d be right. Japan is definitely a rice consuming nation, and the little white grains are most certainly one of Japan’s staple foods. But would you believe the country doesn’t even break the top 10 nations when it comes to rice consumption?

It appears neither would Japanese Netizens, as a chart making the rounds on the Japanese interwebs has onlookers incredulously dropping their morning baked goods.

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Bullet hell fans in heaven with shooter series Touhou Project officially coming to the West

With the globalization of the video game business, just about every successful series sees a worldwide release. Sure, niche titles here and there might remain exclusive to Japan, but when you think about long-running franchises, like Nintendo’s Mario, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, or Konami’s Metal Gear, it’s pretty much a given that each and every installment will make its way to the rest of the world sooner or later.

However, it’s taken almost two decades for one of Japan’s most beloved video game series to secure a release in English-speaking territories. The wait is just about over, though, as the phenomenally popular shooter series Touhou Project is finally making its official overseas debut.

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YouTubers introduce five words you didn’t know were Japanese, we come up with five more!

I’m addicted to following the Instagram and YouTube accounts of foreigners in Japan. Not only can it be really cool to see a different perspective on the country, you can also learn some great stuff, too. Take this video by Rachel of “Rachel & Jun” fame, together with “Texan in Tokyo” (aka Grace) as they explain five words you didn’t know were Japanese!

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Pretty Guardian Pyramid Head! Silent Hill x Sailor Moon cosplay will haunt your dreams

I’m a big fan of the Silent Hill series since way back. The first time I stepped into that crazy, messed up-town way back in 1999, I was hooked. Of course, at the time I was a preteen and had no business playing such a scary game. Still, thanks to a parental lack of understanding/interest in video games, I was free to slash my way unsupervised through hoards of zombie nurses, all the while uncovering the town’s deep, dark secrets.

Of course, other girls my age were probably busy with something a little more wholesome around that time: the Sailor Moon anime. But what would it look like if you mixed the two? Well…

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Japanese celebricat Maru becomes fashion icon with fetching Starbucks frock【Video】

His Royal Roundness, Maru, is one of the most famous cats in Japan, a country with no shortage of beloved feline stars, in part because of his extensive oeuvre. We’ve seen his majestic jumping, his moving efforts to squeeze his girth into tiny boxes, his awe-inspiring agility, and even his benevolent patience with lesser beings. Now Maru has taken the fashion world by storm with an upcycled frock and some serious attitude.

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Car Wars! “X-Wings” is the movie we wish Disney-Pixar would make next 【Video】

Everybody loves a good Disney/Pixar movie (unless you don’t, in which case you obviously hate fun). And (mostly) everybody loves awesome automobiles and methods of transportation. First, we had “Cars”, and then we had “Planes”. The next logical step has to involve outer space, right? (Huh? Trains? Boats? Drones? Ssh…) After all, we all love space movies like Interstellar and, you know, Star Wars.

Now, we finally have the perfect marriage of space hi-jinks and cute animation in X-Wings, aka Car Wars! Wait, what?

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Superhero Wasabi Woman debuts in hilarious video made by English-learning students [Video]

What do you get when you have a group of intermediate/advanced English language students make a video about adjectives? You get “Wassabi Woman,” that’s what.

A video recently surfaced on YouTube that is putting to shame all of the group project videos any of us have ever made and is making English teachers around the world smile.

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I live in Animal Crossing – Get the music from Nintendo’s cutest village sim in your browser

If, like me, you spend the majority of your waking hours sitting in front of a computer screen, you probably have some kind of musical accompaniment to help keep the dark bunnies of insanity at bay. But it can be hard to find music that is both pleasant to listen to and not overly distracting while working, so you may find yourself spending more time choosing an audio track than getting any actual work done.

Thankfully, you can now get the music from Nintendo’s adorable community sim Animal Crossing right in your web browser as a free plugin for Google Chrome. And not only that, the tunes change depending on the time of day–just like in the game!

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No one will be flying Evangelion spear to the moon as crowdfunding project dies on the vine

We recently talked about how the opening theme of anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” is almost painfully ubiquitous in Japan. Overseas, though, the more famous tune is the series’ ending theme, the English-language jazz standard “Fly Me to the Moon.”

The song’s sweet sentimentalism takes on an ironic atmosphere coming after an episode of Evangelion’s painfully subversive depiction of the horrors that could unfold if 14-year-olds were actually tasked with fighting giant invading aliens. And now, “Fly Me to the Moon” will probably take on even more of a bittersweet tone for Eva fans, as the crowdfunding project to send the anime’s Spear of Longinus to the moon has fallen short of its goal.

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Modern take on Japanese fan dance has naked men, international appeal

Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more businesses are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.

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Hyperkin’s joke design for a Game Boy emulator for iPhones is now the real deal…maybe

You might imagine that, in 2015, with smartphone, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS, few gamers would ever want to go back to the simple graphics of the original Nintendo Game Boy. But you’d be very wrong. People go out of their way to make their high-tech gizmos play the old-school games of yore. Call it nostalgia, call it silly, but many call it simply, awesome.

Video game peripheral and accessory manufacturers Hyperkin just announced some new plans for a Game Boy-esque accessory into which you can insert your smartphone and play original Game Boy games. Now this sounds pretty good, but it’s already getting mixed reviews.

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This woolly Yoshi Amiibo will make magic happen on-screen, be your bedtime buddy afterwards

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that, as well as being a huge video game nerd, I’m also a bit of a tree-hugger at heart, albeit one that possess neither a tie-dyed t-shirt nor the coordination required to play hacky sack. So as much as I like the idea of surrounding myself with dozens of Nintendo’s cute little Amiibo figurines, I just can’t bring myself to add yet more mass-produced plastic junk to my home when I know that it’ll only end up in a landfill someday (come on, Amiibo can be hard to find, but they’re hardly collector’s items).

But this woolly Yoshi Amiibo announced by Nintendo of America last night is not only much kinder to the environment, it’s one of the most adorable things ever, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting one of my own.

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Tekken video game series shows off its first fighter from the Philippines: Josie Rizal 【Video】

Tekken 7, the latest installment of video game developer Bandai Namco’s popular fighting game series, hit Japanese arcades last month. Even though the game launched with close to two dozen playable characters, the series has always had a tradition of adding new fighters after each game’s debut, and Tekken 7 is no exception.

The newest member of the Tekken cast is also its first to hail from the Philippines. But while more content is almost always a plus, gamers aren’t unanimous in their reactions to Josie Rizal.

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